Background: Although global interest in integrative healthcare (IHC) has escalated over the past few decades, stakeholder perspectives and preferences in relation to IHC remain poorly understood. Our study aimed to address this knowledge gap by exploring Australian health consumer (HC) and healthcare provider (HCP) understanding, attitudes and preferences for an IHC service delivery model, and to translate these views into an operational framework for IHC. Method: The research used a cross-sectional study design. Eligible persons were informed of the study using a multi-modal recruitment approach. Adult HCs and HCPs from any medical, nursing, allied and traditional and complementary medicine discipline, who had internet access and resided in Australia, were eligible to complete the 55-item online questionnaire. Results: Four hundred and nine participants completed the survey. HCs and HCPs shared a common understanding of, and positive attitude towards, IHC. When asked about the IHC service delivery model, participants advocated the provision of diverse healthcare and support services across multiple centres, to individuals mainly presenting with chronic/terminal conditions. The preference was for these services to be charged as fee-for-service, paid using a split payment system, and managed by a customised team of clinicians following triage by a non-medical staff member. These findings were subsequently translated into an operational framework for IHC. Conclusions: This is first known study to translate HC and HCP attitudes and preferences into an operational framework for IHC. A logical next step of this work will be to ascertain the feasibility of this model in primary care.
- Integrative healthcare
- Integrative medicine